Chargrilled Yogurt Chicken with Spicy Rice

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After only having breakfast and some ice cream yesterday, I was dying for a hearty meal. I had chicken breasts in the fridge, a bunch of spices and rice in the pantry, so I decided to make some delicious curried rice and chicken. The secret to my amazingly tender chicken is yogurt. It is the most brilliant tenderizer, especially if you have a bit of time on your hands.


INGREDIENTS

5 free-range chicken breasts, skin off and deboned
Olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
3 tbsp plain yogurt
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 lemon
Mrs. Balls chutney (or any fruit chutney)

For the salsa:

3 firm tomatoes, chopped
A handful of fresh coriander
A handful of fresh basil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
1 red chilli, chopped

For the spicy rice:

1.5 cups basmati rice
2 cups boiling chicken stock
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 red onions, chopped
5 baby carrots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
5 cm thumb of ginger, grated
2 red chillies, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 fresh curry leaves


METHOD
Serves 5
Preparation 1 hour
Cooking time 30 minutes


In a large marinating dish, mix together the turmeric, paprika, cumin, chilli powder, a generous pinch of sea salt, black pepper and  the yogurt. Then on a plastic chopping board butterfly the chicken breasts. Then massage the marinade into the chicken, cover and place in the fringe for at least an hour.

While the chicken is marinating, soak the rice and prepare the vegetables for the rice. The easiest way to chop the veggies is by using a food processor. Chuck the red onions, garlic cloves, carrots and chillies into the processor and chop until fine. Set aside for later. Then on another plastic chopping board, chop the tomatoes basil, coriander and chilli for the salsa. Place in a bowl, then add the lemon juice, sea salt, black pepper and olive oil, set aside.

Boil the kettle.

Place a casserole dish on high-heat, add 2 tbsp of olive oil and warm for 30 seconds. The add the chopped red onions, chillies, carrots and garlic. Fry for 3 minutes. Then add the dry spices, curry leaves, bay leaf and  a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper, then fry for another 3 minutes. Add the soaked rice and mix thoroughly for 30 seconds, gradually add the chicken stock. Stir then cover with an air-tight lid, turn the heat right down and cook for 15 minutes, do not lift the lid. 

Once the rice has finished cooking, turn off the heat, keeping the lid on, steam for another 15 minutes. 

Turn the braai on, wait until it reaches 200°C, if you prefer cooking on the stove then heat up a griddle pan.

Once the braai has reached temperature, cook the butterflied chicken breasts for 5 minutes on each side, or until properly cooked through, do not overcook the chicken! Then let the chicken rest for 2 minutes, and slice the breasts into 2 cm strips, squeeze over the juice of 1 lemon and season with a sprinkle of sea salt.

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The rice should be cooked, adjust the flavour to your liking, I always add a bit more salt. To dish up spoon a generous amount of rice into a bowl or a plate, top with chicken strips and a tablespoon of fresh salsa, and a dollop of fruit chutney.

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